40-Day Business Leadership Peak Performance Programme Day 4: The Rocket

Welcome to Day 4. I’ve asked you to collect problems, so I hope you have tried this activity. If not quickly make a list of obvious problems you are aware of. Do it now.

OK, welcome back.

I was chatting with a client today. My client, Lindsay, runs a small engineering firm and he employs about 20 staff. Lindsay started collecting obvious problems over a six-week period and just about every single problem he has relates to his staff.

Here’s a sample:

  • Staff arrive late for work.
  • Staff don’t show up at all/ they don’t even phone in sick.
  • They do dangerous things on site i.e., pranks.
  • They get orders wrong i.e., they short changed an order by 1000 components and we nearly lost a good customer.
  • They refuse to be supervised. They act defensively if I ask to watch them working.
  • They don’t follow our quality processes.

I want to emphasise that Lindsay started to see a change in the business simply by ‘collecting problems’ and using the Stop, Start and Continue tool. He used the Stop, Start and Continue tool on the staff who come late to work.

There is no value in knowing about these tools. The value comes from applying them starting with small, benign issues. Remember this is a take-action course.

OK, now for a surprise.

I was chatting with a client. Lindsay, runs a small engineering firm and he employs about 20 staff. Lindsay started collecting obvious problems over a six-week period and just about every single problem he has relates to his staff. Here’s a sample:

  • Staff arrive late for work.
  • Staff don’t show up at all/ they don’t even phone in sick.
  • They do dangerous things on site i.e., pranks.
  • They get orders wrong i.e., they short changed an order by 1000 components and we nearly lost a good customer.
  • They refuse to be supervised. They act defensively if I ask to watch them working.
  • They don’t follow our quality processes.

I want to emphasise that Lindsay started to see a change in the business simply by collecting problems and using the Stop, Start and Continue tool. For example, he used the Stop, Start and Continue tool on the staff who come late with great results. Now his staff normally arrive early ready to start work on time, as agreed and paid.

There is no value in simply knowing about these tools. The value comes from applying them – starting on some small, benign issue. Remember this is a take-action course.

OK, now for a surprise.

Today I want to tell you a fairy story. Let’s pretend that once upon a time you get offered a short-term job as a consultant with NASA. Let’s pretend that NASA want to reboot the space shuttle programme. So think: rockets, space shuttles and so on.

Next let’s pretend that somehow NASA hear about you and decided they need your professional skill set so they fly you to the States and you fly down to Florida to Cape Canaveral. You arrive on-site one fine summer morning where you are met by the head engineer. You receive a short tour of the public space museum – which is amazing by the way – and they then transport you several miles away to a top level security area – the pre-launch area – to a place the public doesn’t ever, ever, ever get to see.

The surprise is they have rebooted the space shuttle programme. (Totally made-up, OK?)

When you get out of the vehicle, the very first thing you notice is this enormous space shuttle on a launch pad.

upside-down-rocket

It’s upside down! And by upside down I mean that the nose of the rocket is pointing down towards the ground and the boosters and rocket engines are pointing up into the sky. You’ve never ever seen a rocket pointing upside down before – ever. As far as you’re concerned this looks 50 shades of wrong.

Got the picture?

OK. STOP!

What goes through your mind?  Right now, focus on what are you might be thinking or saying to yourself. It might be something like: “Wow, this is weird. That doesn’t look right, at all! This is wrong! It’s upside down. That looks like a major disaster waiting to happen if they fire that up. Boy, someone goofed! That’s a problem!”

Concentrate. What are you thinking? No matter what it is, pay attention to any thoughts you are having.

Next, imagine that the head engineer is standing right beside you – looking at the rocket – smiling proudly. Here’s the thing. Would you say anything to the engineer? If you would, what would you say? Is there anything specific you’d ask the engineer? Don’t think too long or hard. Just go with whatever comes to mind but notice what you’d say or ask.

Now, if you wouldn’t say anything, why not?

OK, YOUR TURN

All I want you to do today is think about the upside down rocket and what you would say to the engineer. If you would say something, what would you say. Write it down. Notice your response to this very unusual situation. If you wouldn’t, why not?

And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow.

Click here for the podcast.

https://soundcloud.com/ndrewriestley/005-day-4

Would you like to eaves drop in on a coaching session? Click here.)

https://soundcloud.com/ndrewriestley/04b-upside-down-rockets-coaching

 

Andrew Priestley is a qualified business leadership coach with clients worldwide. He is the author of The Money Chimp, Starting and How Money Flows Through Your Business. You can contact him through www.andrewpriestley.com

Please feel free to share the link and please leave feedback and constructive comments.

Disclaimer

It goes without saying that this is for information only and The Author  cannot be held responsible for any losses or damages that occur as a result of reading this material.

© 2017 Andrew Priestley/TCE Ltd

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